After months of leaks and rumors the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is finally here, but was it worth the wait and the hype?
After all, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is readily available and has a lot in common with Samsung’s new phone, as well as a lower price.
So just how do these two plus-sized handsets compare? To answer that we’ve put them head to head, looking at their design, display, camera, power and more.
- Here's everything Samsung unveiled at its Galaxy Unpacked event
- Read our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S10 review
- Read our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S10e review
- Read our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S10 5G review
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus design
There are some major similarities in the designs of these two phones – both have a glass back and a metal frame for example, along with a curved screen.
But there are just as many differences. The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has a dual-lens camera cut into the screen, which in turn means it can get away with almost no bezels, while the S9 Plus houses the camera in a bezel at the top, as well as having a larger bezel below the screen.
Flip the phones over and – as well as the extra lens on the Galaxy S10 Plus – you’ll also notice that the camera is oriented differently. The lenses are arranged horizontally on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus while they’re stacked vertically on the Galaxy S9 Plus.
The S9 Plus also has a fingerprint scanner underneath the camera, which is nowhere to be seen on the Galaxy S10 Plus, because it’s built into the screen.
Their dimensions and weight also differ. The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm and 175g, while the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm and 189g.
So the Galaxy S9 Plus is slightly longer, thicker and heavier. All of which means that – while appearance preferences are somewhat subjective – the Galaxy S10 Plus has a more modern, arguably more refined look.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus display
Buy the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and you’ll get a phone with a 6.4-inch display. That’s the same size as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s. It’s curved, with a 19:9 aspect ratio, uses Dynamic AMOLED and has a QHD+ resolution.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus meanwhile has a slightly smaller 6.2-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 1440 x 2960 resolution (which makes it QHD+) and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio.
Another difference is that while the Galaxy S9 Plus supports HDR10, the S10 Plus supports the improved HDR10+.
Still, other than the size and the smaller bezels on the S10 Plus, the two screens sound fairly similar. We’d expect the S10 Plus’s screen will be better, but we’ll let you know for sure in our full review. The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus already has a great screen, but will the S10 Plus massively improve?
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus camera and battery
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has five camera lenses in all – three on the back and two on the front.
Starting with the rear sensors, there’s a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle one, a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto one with optical image stabilization (OIS), and a 12MP one which can switch between an aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4. That lens also has OIS.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus on the other hand has just a dual-lens rear camera, with a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto zoom, complete with OIS, and a 12MP variable aperture lens that can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4, and also has OIS. In other words, its lenses have the same core specs as two of the ones on the Galaxy S10 Plus, but it lacks the 16MP lens.
It also lacks a lens on the front, with just a single 8MP f/1.7 selfie camera, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has both a 10MP f/1.9 and an 8MP f/2.2 lens.
As for the battery, that’s 4,100mAh in the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and 3,500mAh in the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, so the new phone brings a lot more capacity.
Both phones support fast charging and wireless charging, but the S10 Plus has Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, so it should be quicker to juice up when not using wires than the S9 Plus.
It also supports Wireless PowerShare, which means the phone can be used to charge other devices - that's a skill the Galaxy S9 Plus certainly can't match.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus OS and power
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has either a Snapdragon 855 chipset or an Exynos 9820 depending on what country you're in. These are both brand-new, top-end, octa-core smartphone chipsets and offer around 30% more power.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus meanwhile has the previous generation of those chips – the Snapdragon 845 in the US and the Exynos 9810 elsewhere.
They’re both octa-core, but they’re also both 10nm, whereas the Exynos 9820 is 8nm and the Snapdragon 855 is 7nm, making the new chips smaller and more efficient. They’re also more powerful than either chipset in the S9 Plus, as you’d expect.
The Galaxy S10 Plus also generally comes with 8GB of RAM, but there’s also a version with a massive 12GB. That’s probably overkill though, particularly when you consider that the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus ‘only’ has 6GB of RAM.
As for storage, the S10 Plus comes with a choice of 128GB, 512GB or 1TB, while the Galaxy S9 Plus comes with 64GB or 128GB, so there’s potentially an enormous amount more in the Galaxy S10 Plus. Both phones also have a microSD card slot.
Both run Android of course. The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus ships with Android 9 Pie, but while the Galaxy S9 Plus comes with Android 8 Oreo out of the box, it can be updated to Android 9.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus price
We don’t have all the pricing details of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus SIM-free unlocked yet at the time of writing, but we know that it starts at $999 / £899 (around AU$1,400) for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
It rises to £1,099 if you want 8GB of RAM paired with 512GB of storage, and £1,399 for 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage (with US and AU prices for those configurations yet to be confirmed).
That’s higher than the $840 / £869 / AU$1,349 launch price of the Galaxy S9 Plus, a phone which can often now be found for a lot less than that.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is also available to buy now of course, while the Galaxy S10 Plus can be pre-ordered from February 21 and hits stores on March 8.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is an expensive phone, even compared to its predecessor, but it’s also clearly a big upgrade in a lot of ways.
It has two extra camera lenses, more power, more storage, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a refined design with smaller bezels, a bigger battery and a larger screen.
We’ll let you know how it all holds together in our full review, but on paper a lot has changed here for the better.
Of course, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is still a great phone too, and while it lacks the high-end innovations of the S10 Plus, the impending price reductions could make it far more of an impressive buy - remember, it's still one of our best phones.
- Lots more phones are about to land at MWC 2019